a townhouse dress


This new dress is the latest step in my current project to add some architectural whimsy to Cassie’s work wardrobe …. and it was barely off the machine when she wanted to wear it to work straight away, like the next day, meaning today!   I took these pictures before she popped off this morning, looking exactly like this…

I consider that the hugest compliment  🙂

DSC_2700That townhouse print though; it did cause me a wee bit of angst…   how on earth to make it into something that was going to look cute and fun and funky and stylish?  You know with some prints the subject material is absolutely perfect for a person, but the print itself is kinda messy and busy and so has the potential to be disastrous?  It’s one of those prima donna prints, I felt it would look overpowering in a dress with a sleeve, also I knew it would not play nicely with many other colours/prints; likewise any design details like draping or … well anything at all, was OUT.  At first I thought about making a very simple plain sleeveless shift, but still worried that it would look a little naf.

When the idea of a white raglan sleeve occurred to me was an instant kapowww! that this could work out quite cute after all.  The white raglan sleeve lends it that little bit of a fun and sporty vibe and just takes the right amount of edge off the messy print. The sleeve fabric came from an old puffed hem dress *shudder*  which Cassie tossed out.  I’ve kept it because it has a mass of lovely soft ivory jersey fabric in it.

DSC_2724Once the raglan lightbulb had popped up it was all super easy from there… I used my own raglan sleeve Tshirtpattern, that I’d worked out years ago from laying down and drawing around an old Tshirt … in a time when patterns for raglan sleeve Tshirt were non-existent!   Yes, it’s hard to believe now there are tonnes of patterns available everywhere, but for a long time and until quite recently some design features were very difficult to get hold of.  We had to hunt for them, and be creative and innovative and sometimes very devious in order to get what we wanted.  The elusive Raglan Sleeve tee was one such rare beastie.  I think it was often assumed that patterns for basics were something you either had already, or could work it out yourself with no pattern by cutting up an old one.

IMG_8643Collar band, simple folded band done using this method; sleeve and lower edges overlocked, turned up once and stitched on the machine with a twin needle.  All seams stitched and overlocked inside to finish.


Dress; elongated raglan sleeve tee, body custom fitted to Cassie.  No pattern, townhouse print fabric from Fabulous Fabrics, ivory jersey harvested from an old dress
Shoes; MelissaDSC_2713


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33 Thoughts on “a townhouse dress

  1. A fantastic dress and what a lovely compliment Cassie has given you.

  2. Love this fabric! Drooled over it at Tessuti Fabrics but couldn’t ever figure out how to use it for me. This looks fantastic on your daughter and I love how you used the white fabric to offset the print!

  3. The contrasting sleeves make the print pop, without it being too much. Beautiful dress and Cassie has given you such a well deserved compliment.

  4. Gorgeous on Cassie. No wonder she grabbed it hot off the machine! I love your solution of the raglan sleeve too.

  5. liochka on 08/01/2016 at 2:48 pm said:

    Oh ! i love this fabric it s so beautiful

  6. sjboehm on 08/01/2016 at 2:51 pm said:

    Absolutely gorgeous! It really suits Cassie and I love the raglan sleeves! Especially against the collar.

  7. Great job, this super cute. You expressed it well in this post, the sleeves rock this dress.

  8. Another great dress! I love how the solid colored sleeves set off the print. So cute!

  9. Simple and pretty, perfect for this dress. Your daughter gave you the best compliment ever by wearing it straight away and it looks great on her too.

  10. I love it! Very simple and so well fitted!

  11. Another super fun dress for Cassie! Great idea to use the ivory to break up the print.

  12. Oh, I can believe that Cassie dressed this right away! It is such a great thought to combine it with monochrome raglan sleeves. Thank you to explicitly tell this. I hope I will remember when finding such a lovely but busy print. 🙂

  13. Samina on 08/01/2016 at 10:56 pm said:

    I think this could be my new favorite thing you’ve made. I love how you took a fabric that could easily get way too cutesy & turned it into something really chic.

  14. This is a really cute dress! White raglan sleeves really work perfect with this busy but beautiful fabric. The dress looks super stylish and I totally get why your daughter wanted to wear it right away!

  15. Loving this theme!

  16. Stunning dress.

  17. She looks fabulous, what an easy to wear dress. I have been sewing fleece. Jo x

  18. I am amazed – again! The white raglan sleeve is absolutely perfect! It’s a beautiful dress.

  19. Nicely done! The solid sets it off beautifully. And it really is amazing how hard it can be to find those basics! I recall having to cobble together a raglan tee pattern at one point during college, because I just couldn’t find one.

  20. Looks great on her. Not sure everyone could pull off such a print but Cassie can. Bet it felt good to use the hoarded ivory fabric too.

  21. Amanda S. on 09/01/2016 at 4:03 am said:

    Lovely! Your blog things I’m a spammer…

  22. Amanda S. on 09/01/2016 at 4:04 am said:

    Okay, well that worked. I wrote you a whole paragraph and it got lost. I just can’t put my website or it looses my comment.

  23. Beautiful dress, your daughter looks great in it! The fabric looks like a print Ted Baker used recently, absolutely gorgeous!

  24. Super cool! And I love the image of her hanging around and yanking it out of your hands, fresh off the ironing board to wear! Marvellously satisfying.

  25. I live in a townhouse, so I was wondering what “a townhouse dress” would look like and now I know! It’s very very cute! Love the ivory raglan sleeves.

  26. Fabulous, fabulous dress. The sleeves are perfect.

  27. I love this dress! And so pretty and funky on her!

  28. And another adorable dress, the white raglan is а genius idea! The fit is perfect and your daughter looks gorgeous in it.

  29. Another FABULOUS dress for your daughter!

  30. The white raglan sleeves are genius! The perfect thing to balance the busy print 🙂

  31. Beautiful dress with such a fun print!

  32. Cassie is so beautiful and this dress so suits her. What I appreciated from your post was your sharing, not only technical information, but also your thought process in pulling together such a lovely dress with unique fabric design. Perfect! 🙂

  33. Exellent idea, I’ll have to keep the raglan sleeve idea in mind for busy prints! Cassie looks great in her new dress!

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